How do astronauts call home or do astronauts call at all? If you are a space enthusiast then you'd have thought of this question sometime. Well, there are provisions in the International Space Station which enables them to call back home. But a Dutch astronaut recently sent a scare at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston when he accidentally dialled 911. André Kuipers dialled the emergency telephone number via Houston space center’s switchboard. Tennis in Space! Watch Astronauts Play The Sport in Zero Gravity.
911 is the emergency telephone number in over 98% of the United States and Canada. It is common to dial this number in times of emergency circumstances. When Kuipers dialled it by mistake it sent alarm sounds all through the space center and a security team was dispatched to the room from where the call had been patched. The astronaut even received an email from the from the center asking if he called 911. He shared the funny instance in a recent interview with Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS). Outer Space Effects on Human Body: Watch Video of NASA Astronaut Struggling to Walk After Spending 200 Days on ISS.
He missed one important number while making the call, which caused a scare among those at the center. "If you’re in space, it’s like you’re making a call via Houston, first you dial the 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an international line," he said. So he missed out on dialling 0 and called 911 instead. The call thus connected with the U.S. emergency switchboard. A security team rushed to the room from where he called and obviously did not notice anything wrong in there. André Kuipers spent about 9 days at the ISS and was involved in conducting several experiments in the fields of human physiology, biology, microbiology, science, etc.
It is exciting right, to know how astronauts get back in touch through space. Kuipers had made a mistake but he also joked about it saying, "I was a little disappointed that they had not come up."